Master’s in Theology (Carmelite Studies)

  • Level 9 Master’s in Theology accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth
  • Designed for students who
    • having completed the BTh (Carmelite Studies) wish to deepen their engagement of the Carmelite tradition, or
    • are eligible to progress from other BTh or cognate courses.
  • Delivered fully online, in the form of a phased release of reading material
  • A modular course combining obligatory modules with individually selected modules

 Course Overview

The Master’s in Theology (Carmelite Studies) is an online level nine, postgraduate degree course, for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Carmelite tradition. It is guided by experts in the field who bring the riches of this lived tradition to students from all walks of life.  The course makes the heritage of the Carmelite family available at Master’s level across the English-speaking world and enables students to deepen their engagement with, and academic understanding of, the Carmelite charism. The course is in keeping with the Roman Catholic ethos of the Carmelite tradition and is open to those of all faiths and none. Its purpose is to introduce students to postgraduate studies in Carmelite Studies in a way that will enable them to engage in, and contribute to, academic and critical debate in the field of Carmelite Studies.

The MTh (CS) is designed for individuals who:

  • wish to engage further in the study of the Carmelite tradition at Master’s-level 9
  • have already completed the equivalent of a BTh qualification in a cognate discipline
  • can demonstrate a required level of complementary experience or learning by other means

The course allows students to study individual modules in a structured yet flexible way. The range of subject areas allows candidates to engage critically in the ongoing dialogue between the Carmelite tradition and the contemporary world. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to describe, present and critically engage with the principal elements of the Carmelite tradition.


Course Structure

The masters degree is structured to allow eligible students to develop their skills to the level of a Master’s qualification. Students study the essential elements of a theological approach to Christian life, and to the living of the Carmelite charism in particular, at postgraduate level. It familiarises students with the normative disciplines in the field of Carmelite Studies, including contemporary studies in theology, history, spirituality and hagiography.

Students are expected to conform to the norms of contemporary scholarship in relation to the history, tradition and approach to prayer associated with the Carmelite charism, and with the Saints and Blessed of Carmel.

In addition, the course is designed to help students to develop essential skills for academic research, practical writing and presentation at postgraduate level. Academic guidance is provided through individual assessment(s), feedback and formal training in the writing of a dissertation.

The academic year is structured as two 14 week semesters:

  • Semester 1: September – December
  • Semester 2: January – April

Individual modules are made available during semester periods only, and modules must normally be completed within the twelve-week semester.
There are two entry points to the course aligned with each semester: early September and early December.
The course content is delivered in the form of a phased release of reading material made available through the CIBI website.
To complete the MTh (CS) course students must:

  •  Study four taught modules, completing all the necessary assignments, and
  •  Complete the dissertation preparation module, and
  •  Write a dissertation.



The Master’s Degree in Theology (Carmelite Studies) is assessed as follows:

  • Formative Assessment, Questionnaires and Essays
    Each taught module is assessed by one Formative Assessment, two eight-question questionnaires and an essay. Each questionnaire is awarded 10% of the overall marks (2x 10 = 20%).
    The final essay for each taught module is on an assigned topic and between 4,000-4,500 words long. The final essay in each module is awarded 80%
  • Dissertation Preparation Module (MTh 99)
    Students who have completed both of the obligatory modules and two other taught modules may proceed to the dissertation preparation module, once they have achieved an average mark of at least 60% for the four taught modules. Such students are required to complete the dissertation preparation module to the satisfaction of the tutor before beginning their dissertation. If students fail to have their proposed dissertation approved within two semesters of beginning the dissertation module, MTh (CS) 99, they shall be deemed to have failed to complete the MTh (Carmelite Studies) course as a whole.
  • Dissertation 
    Having successfully completed the dissertation preparation module (MTh 99) and having had their dissertation proposal approved, the student will be assigned a supervisor who will support the writing of their 15,000- word dissertation. The topic, and the title of the dissertation, shall be clearly and explicitly in the field of Carmelite Studies. A 15,000-word MTh (Carmelite Studies) dissertation on the topic of their approved proposal is written by the student in consultation with their assigned academic supervisor.

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  • Students must study at least one module from both Section A and Section B
  • Students must choose and study only one module from Section C
  • The remaining module is of the student’s choice from section A or B


Section A: Carmelite History


Section B: Carmelite Saints

Section C: Historical Spirituality (choose one module to study)


In view of the need to constantly develop and update the curriculum, and the possibility that some modules or tutors may become unavailable, CIBI reserves the right to replace any of the modules, or their tutors, with an equivalent module or tutor.



A module is delivered in the form of 10 units to be read and studied. The units are directed towards the assigned reading, which needs to be carefully studied and critically interpreted in order to address the questions posed in the questionnaires

MTh Semester weeks graphic Sep 2023




The MTh (Carmelite Studies) course requires a total of 90 credits.

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Students normally complete one module per semester and the dissertation preparation module combined with dissertation itself are usually completed in two semesters, so that the course is normally completed in six semesters.

Students must complete their studies, the four taught modules, the dissertation preparation module and the writing of a dissertation, within four years of registering for the course. Special permission from the Director of Studies is required to extend a student’s registration for a further year, after which a student’s registration in the course will be deemed to have lapsed.


Admission Criteria

Since CIBI’s Master of Theology (Carmelite Studies) is a postgraduate course that presumes degree-level familiarity with studies concerning the Carmelite tradition, and appropriate skills in the English language, it is ideally suited to those who have completed CIBI’s Bachelor of Theology (Carmelite Studies) and those who receive an overall second class honours, grade 1 mark (60 % or above) in that course may proceed directly to the Master of Theology course.

Those who receive an overall second class honours, grade 1 (60% or above), in an equivalent Bachelor of Theology course, or in a similar course that includes both Theology and Spirituality, may be eligible for the MTh course provided they can demonstrate an equivalent background in relation to the Carmelite tradition and an appropriate level of skill in academic English. To make up any shortfall in these areas, and to provide some experience of the distance-learning norms of CIBI, such candidates may need to complete some introductory modules in the Bachelor of Theology (Carmelite Studies) to the satisfaction of the Director of Studies before beginning their MTh studies. Among the modules that may be assigned are:

Those who have NOT completed an equivalent of BTh or a similar course that includes both Theology and Spirituality may also be eligible for the MTh course provided:

  1. they can demonstrate a sufficient level of prior, formal or certified learning, such as that provided by certain kinds of vocational training or by some form of involvement with Carmelite spirituality over a period of years;
  2. they complete the undergraduate Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies), which has twelve modules, with an overall second class honours, grade 1, mark (60% or more).


Language Requirements

Students whose first language is not English are required to submit independent documentary evidence concerning their competence for higher studies through the medium of English. A grade equal, or equivalent, to TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) intermediate level grade overall, along with an intermediate level grade in each of the sub-sections (reading, listening, writing, speaking), is required. Should an individual be admitted to the MTh programme whose English is later deemed insufficient for completing the various assessments involved by those examining their work, that individual may be asked to interrupt their MTh studies with CIBI to do further studies on the English language in order to bring their competence up to the standard required.



The Master’s in Theology (Carmelite Studies) is accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth



The current fees structure is as follow:

  • Registration fee for new students €50.00
  • Taught Module fee €430.00 per module
  • Dissertation Preparation Module fee €530.00 per semester
  • Dissertation fee €530.00 per semester

All fees are payable in advance of the semester of study.

CIBI has a small bursary fund to support students who may financially struggle to access or stay in our accredited programmes. Details can be found here.